I’m Voting Against Godzilla-Sized Evil!!!
Wow! So much to respond to and reflect upon. Because I am currently engaged in the consumption of a certain so called “energy drink” while at the same time attacking a pack of chewing gum, before I continue I feel the need to share a personal note with all of you by admitting that I am as human and corruptible as anyone. I am referring to the fact that for the last three months I have been addicted to Red Bull and chewing gum- the kind with the liquid in the middle. Ummm… Scrumptious! That said, if my heart stops beating or I develop an advance form of cancer in the next month now you know why…
So I write my first blog entry for Blurt, I go on tour in Europe for a few weeks, after which I take short trip to the USA to goto a wedding in Portland and visit my family in Pittsburgh. I come back to London and after settling in I look up my blog on Blurt to find a notable amount of discussion surrounding my first entry. I have to say that I’m very excited by your enthusiastic responses. Thank you for the engagement and insights. I hope this blog will be a place where ideas will continue to be developed and discussed. You’ve brought up more issues than I can begin to address in one post but in the coming weeks and months I hope we’ll cover many of them and more.
I hadn’t planned on delving back into the topic of Barrack Obama today but after reading your responses to my post it is more than appropriate. What really jumped out at me regarding your comments is the perception by some of you that I am having a love affair with Barrack Obama. Fair enough, I did end the blog by stating that his positive public appeal in Europe is one reason to vote for him. However, I did not write a glowing personal endorsement of Obama as much as I reported what I have observed during my recent time in Europe; that observation being that Obama has helped America pick itself out of the pig sty of public opinion that Bush has dragged it into around the world.
For the record, Barrack Obama was hardly my first choice for president in 2008. In a field of Democrats, Greens, Libertarians, Independents, and others, he didn’t even crack my top five. But that was then and this is now and while I carry a strong dose of skepticism regarding his campaign promises and I disagree with him on some issues, he will get my vote in November. I don’t see myself as voting for the lesser of two evils, I see myself as voting against the lesser of a gargantuan evil and potential calamity for the United States and the world.
I could not bring myself to vote for the lesser of two evils in the 2000 presidential election. Instead I voted for Nader because I believed it was important to establish a strong third, or to put it more accurately, second party. The Green Party had a lot of momentum in 2000 and a platform I believed in; including renewable energy and conservation, ending the death penalty and prison reform, a women’s right to choose, campaign finance reform, a reduction in military spending, and single payer universal health care, among others. If they had been able to obtain 5 percent of the national vote the Green party would have qualified for matching federal campaign funding in the 2004 election. The possibility of the Greens establishing a viable third party, one based on principals I believed in, and the fact that in my mind a vote for Gore was basically the same as voting for Bush (do you remember the debates between Gore and Bush? They agreed with one another over and over again on a wide range of issues!) led me to throw caution to the wind and cast my vote for Nader, even though I knew a victory for Bush would not lead to an outcome I favored.
As it turns out, my state, Pennsylvania, went for Gore, regardless of my vote for Nader. That was the good. The bad, the Greens did not secure 5% of the vote, Gore lost, many people blamed Gore’s loss on Nader and the Greens, and any chance of a truly progressive-third party taking root in contemporary America bit the dust. It also turns out that I was totally wrong about Gore and Bush being the same candidate. If I had known then what I know now I would have gleefully voted for Gore a thousand times over… Tax cuts for the rich, the biggest corporate profits in history, a historical and ever widening gap between rich and poor, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, The Patriot Act, Gitmo, Iraq… I could have never imagined that Bush would inflict the kind of damage he has to our nation and the world. On his worst day Al Gore couldn’t possibly have f#*ked up the world more if he had tried!
Yep, I made a mistake. But I can admit to and learn from my mistake and that means voting for Obama. When it comes to the rest of you who can’t bring yourself to vote for Obama because he’s too close to corporate America, his health care plan is a gift to the insurance industry, he has voted for the Patriot Act and funding for the continued occupation of Iraq, or he has back pedaled in his opposition to so called “free trade”, I feel your pain but my friends it is time for you to do something very important… GET A GRIP ON REALITY!!!
The stakes in this presidential election are more obvious than they were in 2000. At least at that time your vote had the opportunity to inject a new voice into the American political landscape. Furthermore, the country hadn’t been suckered into an criminal, misguided, military fiasco leaving the Middle East more unstable than it has been in recent history. In general, we hadn’t the misfortune of eight horrific years of the Bush White House to paint in stark example the level of damage one radical religious nut job could inflict upon the world. While it was not as obvious in 2000 that a Bush White House would lead to certain social and economic disaster the world over, in 2008 it should be obvious to all that this election has a great probability of shaping the direction America takes for the next fifty odd years. It is possible to see that this election could be the difference between a more peaceful world or a ramping up of militarism and war around the globe far greater than that which we have witnessed during the Bush years.
For starters, the next president may appoint as many as three Supreme Court Justices. Leave this task to John McCain and a women’s right to choose will be only one of countless rights stripped away from American citizens. When Bush came into office the idea of him finding a way to dupe America into invading Iraq was laughable. Fast forward to the present, the US military is occupying Iraq and John MCCain wants to ramp up the war. On top of this, McCain’s inflammatory statements and advocacy against nations such as Iran and North Korea make Bush look like a dove of peace and tranquility. I can’t predict where McCain’s War All The Time brand of non-diplomacy will lead the world, but I can tell you where it isn’t going to lead us, anywhere good. I must also point out that Putin and his Russian compatriots are ruthless, smart, power hungry strategists who have just been waiting for the U.S. to miscalculate and give them an opportunity to assert themselves militarily as they have recently in Georgia. When Bush and Company gave them the opportunity they struck and struck hard. A reactionary, gun totting cowboy such as McCain has Putin and friends licking their chops! When McSame stumbles into one of Putin’s snares it will be Georgia all over again but as always in warfare the level of violence and blood shed has the potential to be greater. (And don’t even get me started on China…) We’ve had eight wasted years, crucial years, where instead of investing in clean renewable energy, Bush and Friends have instead kept America burning dirty fossil fuels benefiting no one but the energy giants of the world; including Exxon. (Can you can say record profits mother f*%cker/wp-content/photos). This issue of renewable energy is one that is especially close to my heart as I have been saying for years that going green would be good for the planet and for the working people of America who will find new good paying jobs in an economy that will boom as a result of substantial green energy investment. Obama’s energy plan is not perfect, but he has the right idea, it’s a huge step in the correct direction. If McSame is elected we stay in the 18th century burning whale blubber and coal…
Hell, all this at stake and I haven’t even started on health care or gay and lesbian rights! That said, I hope those of you arguing that voting is pointless, or voting for Obama is the same as voting for McCain will consider very carefully the points I have raised here. Make no mistake, the right wing nut jobs of this world do not see this as an election, they see this as war! Hopefully you’ll come to that understanding before your kids are learning that creationism, not evolution, is solid scientific theory, and that war with Iran sure is a big mess, and that it was awesome living in the United States back when libraries didn’t have their books censored by government appointed “Morality Squads”, and when military service wasn’t mandatory for everyone upon turning the age of 18, and when abortion was legal… Trust me, let McCain take the White House and you’ll be yearning for Bush, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, yes even Cheney, and the good old days in the summer of 2008.
So, in the words of my dear friend and scholar, Chris #2 of Anti-Flag, I leave you with these words to contemplate, for the sake of the nation, the world, the planet, “Don’t fuck up!”